Preview
Preview

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in Theory and Practice Essay

:: 9 Works Cited
Length: 2860 words (8.2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in Theory and Practice

 
Shakespeare's Macbeth has been the subject of scholarly research in terms of ambition, politics, and sexuality. The most predominant analysis is that of the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. This relationship in theory is full of sexual innuendo, maternal power, gender transgression, and violence. In reading multiple essays on the psychological nature of the relationship one question came to mind: to what extent are the characters aware of the psychological effect they have on each other in performance? In contrast to the various essays by literary scholars, Sinead Cusack wrote with Carol Rutter in Shakespeare's Late Tragedies about her process in preparing for the role of Lady Macbeth for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Although her choices are not the only choices that can be made by an actor in that role, her experience contrasted the theoretical models written by so many scholars. Her relationship with Macbeth was real, not a theoretical analysis of the psychological effect the characters have on one another. Through her written process and the analysis of the scholars mentioned above I will outline the dichotomy between theory and performance and the relationship between Macbeth and his Lady.

 

Lady Macbeth and the Witches

Jane Adelman summarizes the psychoanalytic interpretation of the relationship between Lady Macbeth and the Witches (ibid 140). Lady Macbeth and the Witches signify for Macbeth the role of both temptress and mother, an issue that will be explored more fully below. Adelman claims that the Witches tempt Macbeth on the cosmic plain, whereas Lady Macbeth tempts him on the psychological plain (ibid 139). All of the female figures r...


... middle of paper ...


...ber, Marjorie. "Macbeth: The Male Medusa." Shakespeare's Late

Tragedies, ed. Susan L. Wofford. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1996, 74-103.

Keirnan, Victor. Eight Tragedies of Shakespeare: A Marxist Study. London,

NY: Verso, 1996.

Nelson, T.A. ENGL 533 lecture February 18, 1999.

Rutter, Carol and Sinead Cusack. "Lady Macbeth's Barren Sceptre."

Shakespeare's Late Tragedies, ed. Susan L. Wofford. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pretnice-Hall, Inc. 1996, 119-133.

Stallybrass, Peter. "Macbeth and Witchcraft." Shakespeare's Late Tragedies,

ed. Susan L. Wofford. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc. 1996, 104-118.

Staunton, Howard, ed. The Globe Illustrated Shakespeare. New York: 

Gramercy Books, 1979.

Watson, Robert N. Shakespeare and the Hazards of Ambition. Cambidge,

MA: Harvard University Press, 1984


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
The Importance of Sound in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essays - The Importance of Sound in Macbeth        Macbeth, the shortest and perhaps darkest play by Shakespeare, is a tale of over-riding ambition, human nature, and supernatural meddling. Macbeth is the main character in the play, and although he begins the story a loyal subject and brave hero, the power bestowed on him poisens and corrupts him until he eventually turns evil and seeks more, to his downfall. As the central figure of the play, Macbeth sets in motion a sequence of events that brings about the destruction and eventual rebirth of Scotland, giving the play an essentially dark tone....   [tags: Essays on Macbeth]
:: 6 Works Cited
1907 words
(5.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Real Macbeth Essay - Say “Macbeth” and the first thing that comes to mind is probably the play by the famous playwright, William Shakespeare. This classic story has become a mainstay of high school English literature classes around the world. However, few people realize that there was a real king Macbeth who lived long before the Shakespearean character evolved. In fact, the only verity of historical truth in the play is King Duncan’s death at the hand of Macbeth. The “real” Macbeth was not exactly as weak and unsuccessful as Shakespeare portrayed him....   [tags: essays research papers fc]
:: 2 Works Cited
798 words
(2.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about The Truly Tragic Shakespeare's Macbeth - Macbeth: Truly Tragic Macbeth is the epitome of what the literary world regards as a "tragic hero". His admirable qualities are supplanted with greed and hate when three witches dupe him. The three witches enter with the first scene from William Shakespeare's, Macbeth, a tragic tale of one man's quest for power that leads to his ultimate defeat. The story revolves around our tragic hero, Macbeth, and how an admirable and noble man, so established in society, can fall so greatly. Throughout the play, he is driven by an obsession to become King of Scotland, and in the process commits acts of betrayal and treachery to achieve this goal....   [tags: GCSE English Literature Coursework] 1304 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Relationship Between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth Essay - Allthrough “Macbeth”, there are quite a change in the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. It shows how their relationship dramatically changes after how they handle each other’s emotions. Lady Macbeth was manipulative and overpowering in their relationship. She was more violent and ambitious than her husband, Macbeth. In the other hand, Macbeth would be considered daring and brave yet self-doubt. The start of their marriage, Lady Macbeth reads a letter from her husband, “This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness that thou mightst not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee....   [tags: macbeth, lady macbeth, king duncan] 738 words
(2.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Role Reversal of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth Essay - As Shakespeare’s tragic tale of ambition unfolds, the two central characters, Lady Macbeth and the title character Macbeth, undergo a dramatic shift of dominance in their relationship. In the beginning of the play the couple act as a team, plotting the death of Duncan to further their mutual bloodthirsty ambition. Lady Macbeth soon shows her power over Macbeth when she questions her husband’s manhood and devotion to her when he gets cold feet. As Macbeth’s confidence slowly grows and the witches proclaim positive futures for him he begins to separate himself from his wife, planning Banquo’s assassination without telling her, and no longer being susceptible to her insults....   [tags: Lady Macbeth Character Analysis]
:: 1 Works Cited
1578 words
(4.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on The Role of Lady Macbeth - In this essay I am going to discuss the role of Lady Macbeth. First I will be giving a quick summary of Macbeth, discuss the main themes and issues, analyse the text, analyse the character of Lady Macbeth, discuss the relationship between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth, write about the strengths and weaknesses of Lady Macbeth, I am going to debate if Lady Macbeth is evil or good, talk about the reason why Shakespeare created the character Lady Macbeth, discuss the misogynistic views in the play, discuss demonology written by king James and finally talk about the adoptions of the directors....   [tags: Lady Macbeth Character Analysis]
:: 1 Works Cited
3187 words
(9.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Role of Lady Macbeth Essay - Throughout William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is presented as an evil, cold-hearted person, but, when it comes to the actual act of committing the murder, Lady Macbeth does not commit murder. In the end, it is Macbeth who plunges the knife into Duncan’s heart. Lady Macbeth had planned the whole murder, brought the daggers, and even intoxicated the guards, but it is Macbeth who ultimately killed Duncan. After the crime is committed, it is Macbeth who collapses and Lady Macbeth who smears blood on the guards to complete their plan....   [tags: Lady Macbeth Character Analysis]
:: 1 Works Cited
1523 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Downfall of Lady Macbeth Essay examples - In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Lady Macbeth’s desire and ambition leads to her eventual downfall. When Lady Macbeth hears of Macbeth’s prophecy she dreams of the glory and high-standing that awaits being queen. She cannot withhold her ambitions and she is willing to manipulate fate to bring about Macbeth’s prophecy. She invokes evil spirits to be filled from head to toe with cruelty to do the evil actions necessary to make Macbeth king and to remove all remorse and pity for her action from her heart....   [tags: Lady Macbeth Character Analysis]
:: 1 Works Cited
1360 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about The Dramatic Effect of Act 5 Scene 1 on the Play Macbeth - The Dramatic Effect of Act 5 Scene 1 on the Play Macbeth In this scene the doctor and the gentlewoman wait for Lady Macbeth as it was reported to the doctor that she had been sleepwalking on previous occasions - "since her majesty returned from the field, I have seen her rise from her bed". It is reported by the gentlewoman that every time Lady Macbeth sleepwalks she writes something on paper and she had also seen Lady Macbeth continuously perform an action of washing her hands vigorously....   [tags: Papers] 678 words
(1.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Who is the Dominant Partner between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth? Essay - The relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is very strange. In the relationship, throughout the play, both take turns to assume the role of being the dominant partner. What is unusual about this is the fact that at this period in time, the man typically was the one controlling the relationship, but in this case, for a lot of the time it is in fact Lady Macbeth that is the dominant force in their relationship. In Act 1, Scene 5 we can see that Lady Macbeth is very ambitious for Macbeth....   [tags: Relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth] 1188 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]